Cisco Predicts Cloud Traffic Will Increase 12-Fold by 2015

Paul Lilly

The data meteorologists at Cisco say the upcoming forecast extending into the year 2015 calls for a 12-fold increase in global cloud traffic, compared to 2010. Cisco doesn't expect data center traffic to grow quite as steadily, but it will still zoom past 2010 levels and show a four-fold increase by 2015, according to data outlined in Cisco's latest study, "Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2010-2015."

Cisco's report is filled with staggering numbers, all of which revolve around cloud based traffic. According to Cisco, global cloud traffic will increase from 130 exabytes (EBs) in 2010 to 1.6 zettabytes (ZBs) in 2015 as businesses and consumers move into the so-called zettabyte era. In terms of traffic, Cisco says we're already there.

"The Internet may not reach the zettabyte era until 2015, but the data center has already entered the zettabyte era. While the amount of traffic crossing the Internet and IP WAN networks is projected to reach nearly 1 zettabyte per year in 2015, the amount of data center traffic is already over 1 zettabyte per year, and by 2015 will quadruple to reach 4.8 zettabytes per year," Cisco said . "This represents a 33 percent CAGR. The higher volume of data center traffic is due to the inclusion of traffic inside the data center. (Typically, definitions of Internet and WAN stop at the boundary of the data center.)"

Cisco predicts that by the end of 2015, annual global data center IP traffic will reach 4.8 zettabytes, and by 2015, it will reach 402 exabytes per month. By 2014, more than 50 percent of all workloads will be processed in the cloud, Cisco says.

"The study was key learning for us," Thomas Barnett, Cisco senior manger for strategic communications, told VentureBeat . "Many users don’t realize that sending a file doesn’t generate an equal amount of traffic because the file has to go through servers and such. Sending a 5-megabyte file, for example, actually generates around 50 megabytes of traffic."

Something to think about the next time you send a file through cyberspace.

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